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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 20, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EDT

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we chose to stoke that claimed rather than extinguish it. this is my challenge to you tonight, do not let history show that the torch went dark on our watch because we chose to repay lies with lies, to repay hatred with hatred for pettiness with pettiness. do not leave this place with a sense of defeat. go out boldly. go out with your heads high, with your face in our great nation -- faith in our great nation renewed, restored, encouraged, with a stronger appreciation for the exceptional as an of america and a commitment to fight for its preservation. may we be bigger than this. may we be bolder than this, stronger than this, wiser than any temptation to do otherwise.
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and may god continue to shine his favor on our great land, and may god continue to bless the united states of america. [cheering and applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] >> thank you. [applause] >> good luck. >> thank you. i tell you what, the love is mutual. i look around this room and see the distance that people have come, the effort that the airport and. some of you have put some much of yourself and to this, and it will never be forgotten.
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i will ask you as well to understand that what is at stake for our nation is significant. this race is not done for the state of kentucky. i want to make very clear to each of you assembled that i have no intention whatsoever in this race or in any other race that i am aware of at this time in the state of supporting the democratic platform over that of the republican platform. i have no intention of doing that. [applause] there is much that ails us as a nation, has a state, as communities, as individuals, and our homes and our schools and our churches. the very fabric of this nation is being stretched, and we know that, but it is not going to help it at all if we find ourselves contributing to that shredding of the fabric. and so my challenge to you is,
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as we said earlier, rise up. go out of your baldly. be part of the solutions for this great nation. we need solutions, and it saddens me to say that there is zero chance of those solutions for what ails us is going to come from the democratic party. there is zero chance. certainly at the national level. which means the only chance for our nation as it currently exists and given the current structure is that these solutions must come from within the republican ranks. that is the nature of things, and do that and cannot be part of the solution. don't be discouraged by this. be encouraged by this. let this be an inspiration to those of you that are younger than me, those of you that are from my same generation. let us be the ones to rise up. let us be the ones to stand up because somebody needs to, and that somebody is always somebody . sometimes the somebody is you, just as in this instance the somebody was me.
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so take this challenge and wrong with it. walk out of here, run out of fear, keep your heads up, stay engaged in a support the solutions that this party needs, that the state needs and this country needs. and thank you for being here. don't feel that you have got to disperse. this is a good-looking group of people, got to tell you, from up here. it really is. stay here. enjoy each other's company. share stories with each other. i know some of you have titi front -- tight time frame that have to be out of here, but before you do, take a moment to introduce yourself to at least one person that you don't know. ask them why they're here, what drew their attention to this, and share your story with them. and take that away because we are the tapestry. we are the fabric of america. we are the future of america. i thank you for being here. i thank you for your support, and i truly do ask that god would continue to bless each and every one of you and the united
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states of america. thank you so much. [applause] [cheering and applause] [applause] [applause] >> what i am trying to say is that fraud kills. okay? and it is non-partisan, fraud, and we have got to do something about it. we are -- we don't have unlimited budgets, and money gets wasted on a building that will never be used is money that could have felt some other afghan, some people in the united states. you keep seeing this again and again and again. i am proud to work for this and
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administration. i mean, i think it is important that people realize, i was appointed by the president. inspector general's are independent, but it is important that the people see that the government does care, and there are a lot of people, people who care about wasting money. >> his role as inspector general and how american taxpayer dollars are spent on reconstruction in afghanistan sunday night at 8:00 on c-span queue and i. -- q&a. >> c-span2 providing live coverage of the u.s. senate floor proceedings and keep public policy events and every weekend book tv, now for 15 years the only television network devoted to nonfiction books and authors. c-span2, created by that to -- cable tv industry and brought to you as a public-service watch as and hd, like us on
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facebook, and follow us on twitter. >> the house foreign affairs committee held a hearing on relations with mexico. questions to the panel focused on drug trafficking across the southern border and international trade. congressman ed royce shares this 2-hour hearing. >> this hearing will come to order. we will ask all the members if they could take their seats at this time. this hearing is on the future of u.s.-mexico relations. and today as we look at the future of u.s.-mexico relations, we have -- we have witnesses that we will hear from shortly. before we do i will make an opening statement. then the ranking member of this committee will make his opening statement. despite our strong cultural ties
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, our relationship with the neighboring country, mexico, has never received the sustained attention from washington that that relationship deserves. this committee is working to change this. in december chairman salmons western hemisphere subcommittee held an important hearing in arizona on facilitating trade between the two countries. and ranking member eliot engel has had a sustained interest in the western hemisphere, particularly in u.s.-mexico relations. we will all be watching secretary carries trip to mexico city with interest, and this partnership is very important to both countries' economic competitiveness. a very important to the standard of living of people in this hemisphere. as a top trading partner, trade in goods and services with mexico topped a half trillion dollars a year, supporting
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millions of american jobs. with structural reforms under way in mexico this could increase significantly the high-level economic dialogue, should advanced border management and trade efficiency, but most of all they successful conclusion of the trans-pacific partnership negotiations, which includes both countries and, of course, canada, many countries in the east and south asia, many countries along that western side of south america that partnership, that dpp would spur economic growth across a region that represents 40%, 40 percent of the entire global trade. a particular area growing significance, of course palin is energy. mexico is one of the ten largest oil producers and the world. the united states next year will
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be number one. mexico is in the top ten. and it is one of the largest sources of u.s. oil imports. last december of mexico announced historic energy reform ending the 75-year state monopoly, and this committee will be watching closely as mexico finalizes these reforms which are expected to result in a large productive influx of private capital and technology and expertise. if done right, this will allow mexico's energy sector to drive, improving u.s. energy security by creating a more reliable source of oil from our close southern neighbor. and this committee played a key role in the passage of the u.s.-mexico trans boundary hydrocarbons agreement paving the way for greater energy exploration. as a mexican official told
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committee staff in mexico city last week, mexico wants to work with the u.s. and canada to help north america and chief energy independence. of course, the biggest threat to mexico's success is the ongoing threat of violence from drug cartels and from criminal organizations tied to those cartels. u.s. efforts with mexico to tackle these transnational criminal organizations must be monitored and improved. after taking a post-election pause to consider a review of mexico's national security policy and with a lot of u.s. aid sitting in the pipeline, it appears that the pan and nato administration will continue pondering closely with the u.s. both countries have an interest in reducing the capacity of the cartels. february's joint operation between mexico and u.s. authorities to take down held
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chappell bluesman was a key success of this partnership. mexicans are hopeful that they are witnessing a new era and their country. and under this administration reforms already passed in mexico are proving that our southern neighbors are serious about liberalizing and modernizing institutions. these improvements in trade and investment should improve our relations. and i will now turn to the ranking member for any comments that he may have. mr. eliot engel. >> chairman ed royce, i would like to begin by thanking you for holding today's hearing. i have been focused on the importance of u.s.-mexico relations for many years, and i appreciate your willingness to bring this issue before the committee. once characterized by mutual mistrust, u.s.-mexico relations are now stronger than ever. i am pleased that the obama administration has prioritized partnership with mexico from the
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very start and then happy to see 65 secretary kerry is continuing this high-level engagement with his trip there tomorrow. today our two economies are tied more closely together than ever before. mexico is the second-largest this nation for u.s. exports and the third largest source of imports. 6 million american jobs rely on commerce with our southern neighbor. the impact of our economic partnership can be felt in every part of our nation. in 2013 mexico was the eighth largest market for exports from my home state of new york with just over $2 billion of goods exported from the york to mexico . i continue to be impressed by mexican president since taking office in december 2012 he has worked across party lines to pass historic political and economic reforms, particularly in the country's energy sector. as a result of mexico's reforms, moody's upgraded its credit
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rating to investment grade in february. this makes mexico the only latin american country other than she liked to obtain this writing. i am also very pleased that the mexican congress recently passed a law that will enable civilian courts to try cases involving alleged human-rights violations committed by soldiers against civilians. previously these cases were tried in military courts. let me also say, the new measures to protect human rights , to protect their advocates and journalist represent an important step forward. this is a real challenge, and mexico remains a dangerous place for those working to shine a light on abuses, corruption, and crime. i urge the mexican government to speed up its implementation of these measures. i also urge the state department to provide direct funding for this effort to help build a safe environment for these men and women doing such important work. as our witnesses know, i have
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been a supporter of the initiative since its inception, but i have also made clear that we have certain domestic obligations under the initiative that demand greater u.s. attention. firstly, we must do much more to stop the illegal flow of firearms from the united states to mexico. in 2009 the government accountability office released a report that i commission on this issue. it showed that 87 percent of the firearms mexican authorities seized and traced between fiscal year 2004 and fiscal year 2008 originated in the united states. today i am sending a letter to the gao requesting a follow-up report reviewing u.s. efforts to combat firearms trafficking to mexico. secondly, the enormous u.s. demand for illegal drugs fuels' violence in mexico. in 2012 there were approximately 24 million illicit drug users in the united states. while i am pleased by the obama
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administration's efforts to invest in drug prevention, treatment programs, we must continue to do more to stop illegal drug use in our country. thirdly, we must do our part to cut off funding to transnational criminal organizations. this means, and forcing our anti money-laundering laws and cracking down on u.s. banks that turn a blind eye to money-laundering. without taking the steps it will be very difficult to end the terrible violence in mexico that has claimed more than 70,000 lives of the past seven years. finally, i would like to emphasize how important it is to both of our country's for the house of representatives of fish with repast comprehensive immigration reform. we need a new immigration system that opens the doors of opportunity and emphasizes human dignity. our diversity is one of our country's greatest strengths. throughout our history immigrants have always been an indispensable part of the fabric of our society, and we know from a number of people reaching our shores every year that america
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remains a beacon of hope and opportunity around the world. the time to fix our system is now, and we all know that if the senate bill came to a vote on the house floor this afternoon it would be on the president's desk this evening. i would like to close by thanking our witnesses were being here today and for their important work in ensuring that our u.s.-mexico partnership remains strong. i know all the witnesses. i am appreciative of their hard work and expertise, and i look forward to hearing from each of them today. thank you, again, mr. chairman, for holding this important hearing, and thank you so much for working in such a bipartisan white. >> thank you, mr. eliot engel. we will now go for two minutes to mr. matt salmon. >> thank you, mr. chairman. want to thank you and ranking member eliot engel for convening today's hearing on our extremely important bilateral relationship with mexico. it is wonderful to see you again , secretary jacobson, ambassador brownfield, and ms.
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ms. elizabeth hogan. you have done so much to strengthen our relationship with mexico, and it has been a pleasure working with you over the past year. as you know, mr. chairman, our economic and security partnerships with mexico are vital. 6 million u.s. jobs depend on our trade with mexico which translates into one in 24 jobs here in the united states. let me repeat that, one out of every 24 jobs in the united states is related to exporting to mexico. 692,000 jobs in your home state, mr. chairman, in california depend on this relationship with mexico. my home state of arizona is the nation's fifth largest exporter to mexico, and over 111,000 arizona jobs rely directly or indirectly on the commercial relationship we enjoy with mexico. unfortunately border ports of entry face significant challenges keeping up with the growth in our 2-week trading resulting in wait times that represents a loss of over $7 billion a year.
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as chairman of the subcommittee i have made trade facilitation a priority and look forward to hearing from our witnesses on how we can continue to address this serious challenge. mexico has a growing middle class, impressive resources, and some economists have recently projected the mexican economy will be the fifth largest in the world by 2015. reforms passed in the last year to the telecommunications, energy, and other sectors will open up mexico's economy even more building a more prosperous mexico while opening markets for american manufacturers an entrepreneur. meaningful energy reforms recently passed will open the sector to foreign investment that will allow mexico to realize its production potential, helping to make north american energy self-sufficient. as chairman of the western hemisphere subcommittee, pushed the administration to finally set up the trans national boundary ratification and was pleased we passed into law late last year resulting in one and a half million acres of the u.s. after continental shelf being opened for exploration and
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production and opening up resources in the western got that have been off-limits to both u.s. and mexico. we are now on our real path toward regional energy security and independence. despite promising news on the economic front, security in mexico continues to affect both our countries. our security partnership through the initiative has been successful and undermining transnational criminal organizations and in helping mexico reform its justice sector and build capacity of municipal and federal police forces. however, continue to be concerned with the process of programs slowing during the administration and pivoting global attention away from mexico real security challenges. i agree there is much more to mexico than the security situation, but when i see there is nearly $750 million in the pipeline, it tells me there is still a lot of work to be done to get our mexico partners reprivatized on security. it is true that mexico continues to contribute $10 for each
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dollar the u.s. contributes to the initiative and the capture certainly is another good indication of mexican resolve. there is still much progress to be had, and i am eager to hear from ambassador brownfield's instead she is taking to further cultivate this important security partnership, and from ms. hogan on usaid justice reform and the reduction programs improving mexico's economic outlook, the security situation, the rule of law having real and direct impact on the u.s. homeland and enhance our already impressive bilateral commercial relationship. once again, thank you so much for convening what promises to be a valuable hearing on one of our most important and productive global partnerships. >> i think the gentleman. we now go to mr. albio sires for two minutes, the ranking member of the subcommittee on the western hemisphere. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning, and thank you to our witnesses. the u.s.-mexico relationship is
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among the most critical and vibrant to our nation's economic and security. it is also one of the most promising relationships. i think my friend and colleague for making this relation a central focus of our subcommittee work. our nation's share, democratic values similar values for peace and economic prosperity, as well as a nearly 2000--mile border. the u.s. is mexico's largest trading partner and largest foreign investor, while mexico is the third largest u.s. trading partner. in terms of security, both u.s. and mexico have accepted a share responsibility as part of the initiative. congress has appropriated more than $2 billion toward the initiative, and the administration has requested $115 million for fiscal year 2015. for its part, mexico has invested nearly $10 for every u.s. dollar committed by the u.s. nonetheless, mexico remains the major producer and supplier to the u.s. of heroin, math, and
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marijuana and is more than 95 percent of the cocaine sold in the united states. since 2006 more than 70,000 deaths have resulted from drug-related crime and violence in mexico. nearly a year and a half has passed. since that time the president has assured a series of ambitious reforms with secondary legislation approving significant to their success with a profound impact on u.s. economic relations and energy security. the skepticism and concerns regarding the move to centralize security policy has now moderated and is reflected in the recent success and capture of drug kingpin coos mom which came about with the help of u.s. intelligence. of the escalation of drug-related violence in the region is still a concern, i
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hope mexico's recent announcement to dedicate security resources to those regions will signify an ongoing effort to continue combating drug-related criminal threats and strengthening local police forces. i look forward to hearing about our involvement in mexico border security efforts and in terms of human rights how we can work with mexico to further protect journalism, human rights advocates and central american migrants. i look forward to hearing from our panelists on their assessment, what we can expect from the upcoming visit to mexico by secretary kerry, and how we can improve our efforts going forward. >> thank you, mr. albio sires. this morning we're pleased to be joined representatives of the department of state and the u.s. agency for international development, and it is good to see our madam assistant secretary. it is good to see you again, ms. jacobsen. before becoming assistant secretary of state for the
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bureau of western hemisphere affairs she formerly was the acting assistant secretary for western hemisphere affairs and formerly served as director of mexican affairs. we also have ambassador brownfield with us, assistant secretary for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs. he was the u.s. ambassador to colombia from 2007-2010 and served overseas in venezuela, al salvador, argentina, switzerland , and panama as a temporary political adviser to the u.s. command. ms. elizabeth hogan has 25 years of development experience in latin america. elizabeth f. hogan is the senior deputy assistant administrator for usaid bureau for latin america and the caribbean. previously she served as the director of the agency's 80 task team and was director of south american affairs. without objection, the witnesses
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full and prepared statement will be made part of the record, and members will have five calendar days to submit statements and questions and any extraneous material they may want to put into the record. at this point, we will begin with ms. roberta jacobson, and we will ask all of the witnesses , if you could summarize your remarks. then we will go to questions. this roberta jacobson. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member eliot engel, and members of the committee. i want to thank you for the opportunity to appear here today to testify on u.s.-mexico relations. i am really so gratified because this is the largest number of members have had at a hearing on this committee of latin america and i also really wanted thank the western hemisphere subcommittee and chairman after 13 and ranking member albio sires for their bipartisan support of the u.s.-mexican relationship ..
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a five times since taking office most recently in february while vice president biden has gone three times to mexico. further reflecting the breadth of the relationship we have had secretaries johnson hagel fox blue vilsack trickster and ambassador from an visiting mexico over the past year alone to advance our efforts to support trade streamline regulatory corporation and enhanced security of our
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citizens and as you'll all said my box secretary kerry travels to mexico tomorrow. the united states and mexico have integrated our economies in ways we could not foresee when one nafta went into force 20 years ago. creating good jobs and new opportunities for citizens of both countries and increasing our competitiveness. the u.s. and mexican manufacturing economies build products together for the north american and global markets. the united states welcomes mexico's focus on economic policy reforms. they are reforms that are being implementimplement ed should not only help mexico build a more productive economy and raise living standards but also create opportunities for mexican firms to improve north american competitiveness. the administration is capitalizing on presidents strong push into economic development. the high-level economic dialogue vice president biden launched last year is moving forward in three areas competitiveness and connectivity economic growth entrepreneurship and innovation
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in regional and global leadership. we are working in many of these areas with canada and mexico based on our leader's commitments at the north american leader summit in march. people-to-people ties between our two countries are fast. 10% of all americans more than 33 million are of mexican heritage. the mexican-american community is a vital part of our culture or politics and our values. we are focused on tapping the great potential that our people give us. we have held meetings for education innovation and research bringing together government academic and civil society members to promote opportunity job creation and development of the 21st century workforce. that form complements of presence 100,000 strong in the americas initiative to increase student exchange between united states and countries of the western hemisphere including mexico. the president and his cabinet continue to engage with mexican leaders on the administration's
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vision for comprehensive immigration reform that respects our tradition as a nation of immigrants as well as a nation of laws great immigration reform would affect mexico more than any other country that mexican officials recognize this as a domestic issue for the u.s. to debate and decide. at the same time our border is more secure than ever. we partner with mexico to maintain that secure border which facilitates the illegal transit of goods and people. mexico is beginning to implement a strategy to better secure its own border with guatemala to stem illicit flows of drugs weapons and people. we maintain close partnership with the mexican government on security and rule of law issues. i will let my colleagues describe those programs but i want to highlight two emblematic developments. the restive sinaloa leader has been mentioned. this was a clear indication to cooperation conducted with trust and shared enterprise that no individual or criminal network
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is immune from the reach of law. another development is the announcement last week of a comprehensive mexican government plan to jirgas security with borders of texas. president pena nieto said there are no shortcuts to reduce violence in the short term emphasizing long-term goals such as the rule of law interest in judicial institutions could well be merida initiatives is not direct we enforce law enforcement it does build capacity and we now that when mexicans benefit from more effective law enforcement and judicial institutions in areas near or far from our border we benefit as well. on my last visit to mexico i enjoyed frank conversations on human rights security and improving the lives of our citizens. mexico wants to work with us to achieve the massive potential of our citizens and our economies. thank you mr. chairman and all the members of this committee for your time today and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you secretary.
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ambassador. >> i will open by thanking you for not calling attention during your introduction to my three years as u.s. ambassador to venezuela eight period and a performance which richly merits not being remembered for centuries and centuries to come. >> i rem prints the i did not give a timeframe timeframe. >> mr. chairman mr. engel members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss one of our most important relationship in the entire world. it assists in secretary jacobsen has just described a larger of the strategic issues and i will report on the security relationship area and with the arrival of the pena nieto administration in december of 2012 both governments took the opportunity to review our security cooperation. we have much to review. since 2008 we have delivered
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$1.2 billion to support that cooperation and the government of mexico has delivered many times that amount. our support provided training and equipment to 8500 justice sector officials and 22,000 police. civic education programs reached more than 700,000 mexican students and secure federal prison systems grew from five to 14. the mexican government has taken down more than 70 major drug traffickers and our contribution of 112 million in border detection equipment has resulted in almost $3.8 billion in seized illicit goods. our joint review started from a very strong base. early last year the governments agreed to maintain four pillars to guide our security cooperation.
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disrupting organized crime, institution building, creating a modern border and building strong communities. the government of mexico released its own 10-point national security strategy last august giving greater priority to crime prevention rule of law and community development. we agreed with these priorities. for our part we prioritize training over equipment and state-level engagement as well as federal level engagement. the mexican government agreed with these u.s. priorities. since january of this year our two governments have approved 78 new projects valued at more than $430 million. the mexican government focus these projects on justice sector reform mexico's southern border and state law enforcement. we will work with the mexican
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attorneys general's office to train prosecutors in and the new accusatory justice system and empower law enforcement's to fight financial crime. we will provide communications equipment and training for customs immigration border and narcotics officials along mexico's southern border through which most illicit product and migrants pass on the way to the united states. we will increase training and support for state police academies to allow them to expand their reach to state release throughout mexico. mr. chairman i do not need to explain to this committee the importance of the security relationship. i'm sometimes asked when we will see concrete results on the ground for this investment. the question is easily answered. first i note our lesson from colombia. it takes decades to create security threats and it takes time to resolve them.
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second there are visible results on the ground. the arrest of joaquin guzmán last february was the most important law enforcement operation since the colombia takedown of pablo escobar in 1993. in the past three years the homicide rate in the city of juarez 300 feet across the river from el paso has dropped as much as 83%. u.s. consumption of cocaine and methamphetamine as most of them ship through mexico is dropped nearly 50% since 2007. u.s. border officials report that has some crossings mexican nationals now constitute a minority of those detained for illegal entry. members of the committee this congress was old and ambitious when it decided in 2008 to support the merida initiative. we are not at the goal line yet
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but we have crossed the 50. thank you and i look forward to your questions and your guidance. >> thank you. >> chairman royce ranking member engel and members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to discuss u.s. a contribution is to the merida initiative with you today. mr. chairman as underscored in our new mission statement usaid is partnering to end extreme poverty and promote resilient democratic societies. usaid's work with our partners in latin america and the caribbean and progress over the past several decades has enabled usa to shift our development approach to providing direct assistance towards strengthening the country's capacity to provide for their own people. in mexico usaid's collaboration with the government of mexico on rule of law and citizen security has three goals. to improve the effectiveness of
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the criminal justice system strengthen the capacities of communities to reduce crime and violence and promote the protection of human rights. to achieve these goals we operate in a genuine partnership with their mexican counterparts. these schools are a matter of national security for the united states as well as in economic and political imperative. six years ago mexico begin a transition from the written inquisitorial criminal justice system to the more transparent oral adversarial system. usaid support to that transition at the national level and in 12 of the 32 mexican states ranges from helping to develop legislation to training judges prosecutors public defenders and investigative police. we are also helping the mexican government to create and strengthen institutions essential to have a form such as building the capacity of internal training units victims assistance centers and pretrial service units. to prepare the next generation
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of lawyers and judges we are assisting mexico's bar associations promoting professional standards and law schools in cricket limerick form and teacher training. the transition to a new criminal justice system is already producing positive results. evaluations of the status it advances reforms by the significant decrease in acquittal rates it markets decrease in pretrial detentions longer sentences aside for serious crimes reduced case backlogs and better assistance for victims. to support the mexican government's crime reduction efforts we are piloting innovative preventive approaches in three of the border cities most affected by violence and criminal activity. in juarez monterey in tijuana we are developing new models for safe urban spaces providing life and job skills for at-risk youth increasing educational opportunities and empowering communities to address the root
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causes of crime and violence. we will help the mexican government build on and replicate the most successful of these interventions. one of the key successes of arm merida activities has been the extent to which the private sector has contributed and partnered with us. to raise additional resources and ensure job training provides the skills that employers need we have partnered with companies like cisco intel prudential to name a few. to train youth from tough neighborhoods and jobs are of growing fields of technology and construction. we also helping to spur activity in pork entities across mexico by opening up affordable financing the other the development credit authority. a at 2013 partnership between usaid to mexican financial institution and credit suisse unlocked $60 million in private capital for local job creators small and medium businesses.
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to truly ensure the sustainability of our efforts we increasingly supporting local organizations to reduce crime and violence such as the chihuahua and business foundation and citizens committed to peace in tijuana. today to date they have supported over 17,000 at risk mexican youth. our efforts to advance prevention by providing viable alternatives to mexican youth are already bearing fruit. one of arm playability reached 8900 at-risk youth and employment activities and approximately 70% of participants every enrolled in school are gone on to find gainful employment. through the merida initiative usa is helping the mexican government to protect journalists and human rights defenders who expose crime and corruption. together we are applying the lessons learned from a decade of investments in colombia to enhance similar protection mechanisms in mexico. we also trained journalists and
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human rights professionals of the practices tools and technologies they need to protect themselves and their work. mr. chairman we are encouraged by many of the steps that mexico has taken to reduce crime and violence that we also recognize that defeating the powerful cartels and the violence that they have sponsored will take time. we are also encouraged by the progress we have seen thus far through our partnership with the mexican government private sector and civil society. their success will make both our country safer and more prosperous. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you ms. hogan. let me ask the question of the ambassador and a relates to the administration review on security issues. they took a step back and took a
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look at a new approach. we are over a year into the administrative and they are. do we assess the cooperation between the u.s. and mexico on that and the other aspect of that is i understand the state department works with the california attorney general's office to help divide oral advocacy trading to the prosecutors of mexico. and our l.a. county sheriff's office hosts a study tour for mexico city police and i was going to ask also how the state level exchanges help improve cross-border relationships at the state level and in turn help improve the capacity in mexico on transnational criminal investigations. i also wondered about the effectiveness of these programs and i thought you might have a comment on matt reed. >> thank you mr. chairman. i just might.
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may i start with your first question and then that is the state of cooperation between the united states and the mexican government. you are correct as always at the start of this now not so new government for president pena nieto as of the first of december of 2012 there was a period were both governments logically and understandably said let us review what is the nature of the cooperation that we have today. i would suggest to you that never in the history of mankind has a government, to a new administration saying we will continue each and every program and policy of our predecessors. this process took some time, much of the year 2013 was dedicated to it. we were not sitting on our hands during this time. programs that had already begun
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for continued shoe that year but we did in fact not initiate a great many new programs. we have reached an agreement on how we will make these decisions in the future. we have set up our own team based out of our embassy in mexico city and the government of mexico has established their representatives and the secretary at the department like their presidency ministry and their foreign and their foreign ministry. they're making decisions. as i mentioned in my statement we have agreements on 78 new projects in nearly $438 million worth of projects that will proceed. the message that i have for you is we are now moving ahead at a smart pace in terms of programs and projects. >> one of these would need the prosecutor -- prosecutorial
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training by the attorney general's office? >> it would fall in that category mr. chairman and if you'll allow me to pander ever so briefly and i promise to stop since you have opened that door i would mention as well proudly that we have also partnered with a number of other state and local institutions in the united states of america for mexico programs including the chicago police department harris county sheriff's and houston police department state of maryland corrections los angeles sheriff's department as you mentioned portland police department washington state commission el paso sheriff's department albuquerque and new mexico state police california corrections colorado corrections maryland corrections new mexico corrections and a group called western attorneys general which lucas and about two-thirds of the attorneys general of united
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states or america including california. >> we are focused on capacity building and you have deemed this to be effective? >> in each case obviously focused on the area of expertise. >> we appreciate that. i want to go to assistant secretary jacobsen with a question about the shift in strategy. now that state-owned monopoly is changing and i was going to ask you about the energy sector there and the changes you might expect following the implementation of those major reforms that are underway and maybe ask also if you thought we would see significant foreign investment as well as u.s. investment in the energy industries resulting reforms. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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one of the things that has been so exciting about the reforms and the energy reform obviously has garnered the most attention are opportunities for partnership and investment. obviously pemex will remain a state-owned entity and that's been clear throughout the report them -- reform and the implementing legislation and the secondary legislation is not yet complete. so it's not entirely clear how things will play out. but what we hear from u.s. companies of all types energy firms and firms that would support energy contracts etc. is that they are very very interested in the market and they are waiting for the reforms to be complete that they are obviously very excited about this positive possibility of partnering with mexican companies and pemex itself and what possibilities there might
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be for them to be involved. there are also obviously outside of the oil industry there have been partnerships in renewable energy other forms of energy with u.s. companies for quite a while but in the oil industry there are possibilities that didn't exist before. >> thank you assistant secretary. i will go now to mr. eliot engel >> thank you very much mr. chairman. as the witnesses know i was a strong supporter of the merida initiative that since 2008 congress has appropriated over $2 billion in assistance to mexico through that initiative. the large military military hardware is delivered in institution building and justice reform. the president's budget request decreased for merida funding so i've would like to ask her witnesses to give us a sense of what you think merida initiative system should look like in terms of the amount types of voting
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over the next 5210 years. i want to obviously ensure the mexico receives the funding it needs in this type budget atmosphere so why don't we start with you ms. jacobsen. >> thank you mr. engel. i think obviously as you have seen from our request the fiction -- the figures have gone down over the last couple of years. this was to some extent i think our expectation along with the mexicans that those numbers would go down. number one the mexicans are able to obviously afford a great deal on their own but number two as you implied in your question equipment is more expensive than training which is the area we are in most now. i can't recall exactly at this moment the precise total of the figure we are talking about whether we are somewhere between $10,200,000,000 of assistance at this point. i expect that figure to be in
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that neighborhood trending downward but slowly hopefully over the next few years there is still an enormous amount to do especially as ambassador brownfield has outlined as we move into cooperating with the mexican government on state efforts. because as we know so much of the law enforcement and the justice efforts are at the state level not just at the federal level to fight these kinds of crime but i also think it's critically important as beth pointed out i think the real focus has to be on the communities themselves and the justice there. this is an administration that came in very focused on completing the judicial reform. that's going to make a huge difference on the human rights situation and on convicting people and making sure that your only focused on the most important cases and that other cases are not always come into
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trial. things are more transparent. victims rights are respected so i think that's really where a lot of the focus needs to be maintained in the years ahead. >> anybody else ambassador? >> quickly mr. engel i would suggest to you the president's request for fy2015 for international narcotics was $18 million and i have course support the presence request. i do know that that's down from nearly $148 million the year before. i think there are two reasons for this. one as assistant secretary jacobsen has just laid out you to expect the program will start hide and then you the congress will hold us to a standard to bring it down to a sustainable level in the richness and fullness of time. second as i suggested in my opening statement we were working through it period of adjustment with the new government and during that time we were not spending down at the
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rate that we had in previous years. it would be my hope congressman that our request in the year i had would be at a somewhat higher level. >> i would just underscore a point i made in my testimony and that we have just begin to tap the enormous potential of the center to invest in some of these programs and i think it's a win-win situation by investing in workforce development getting better employees and staving off the opportunity for at-risk youth to move into illicit economic activity. i think there's much more that we can do. we know there's a great amount of liquidity in the banks that's not reaching small and medium-size businesses and through our development authority we are posed to do more of that kind of work and unleash the potential the private sector has to bring to bear on solving these problems going forward. >> thank you.
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as i mentioned in my opening statement i believe the u.s. firearms fueled the drug violence in mexico. since 2009 i have pushed for law enforcement and -- this was enacted in the 1968 gun control act. frankly i have been frustrated by the administration's not enforcing this or enacting this. this is legislation that's already on the books. it was fulfilled under both administrations of president george h.w. bush and president clinton. it was stopped by president george w. bush and has not resumed under president obama. it's been very frustrating. i know we are having some discussions and hopefully we are moving things along in the right direction but to me it's been
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very frustrating that there are laws on the books that we know if we utilize the violence. not stop it but help curtail it and these arms that illegally go to mexico are fueling it and we are just sitting there watching it happen. we have laws on the books that my opinion could prevent it. in mexico we have used meredith initiative insistence to install spanish language each race to help recover firearms and let me ask ambassador brownfield about it. how effective has spanish language e*trade's been and how is your cooperation with their mexican counterparts and based on the information we have obtained do you know when the firearms in mexico come from? >> thank you congressman. subfive is a very important part of our security and monforte and
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cooperation with mexico and the mexican government. under the merida initiative. i would describe our experience with subfive e-trace on the mexican government as to what this really was and whether this was a substitute for us in forcing aggressively our own firearms licensing and export controls and laws. then considerable enthusiasm for e-trace as it was introduced into the mexican law enforcement community. it then dropped in terms of number of traces called for in the course of the year 2013. it is now rising once again. a tribute that to first the adjustment of one administration to another administration in second a realization by the new team that this is in fact a
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valuable tool. i'm optimistic about it. i think this is a very good investment and it's not just the investment of the united states and mexico which we know are also having excellent success with e-trace in the caribbean and in central america. >> i think my time is over but i'm wondering ambassador if you could answer the last question on the information we have obtained on e-trace. do we know that most firearms come from mexico? ..
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i am a californian. we are very proud of our heritage that we share with our brothers and sisters to the south, and america could have people as our neighbors that we did not like, but i will tell you this much, the people of mexico are wonderful people. i have spent a lot of time with them as a young person. as i get older as well, being a surfer. spend a lot of time with mexican surfers in baja. so let's just start with that, that we should pitch be grateful as a country for having such wonderful neighbors, as we have. having wonderful neighbors and good friends does not mean that there are not problems, and you
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have to work with those problems to make sure you maintain a good relationship for. i am happy to your testimony today that indicates that that relationship and cooperation actually is on the upswing. i hope to be as supportive as i can of that effort. i would like to talk about something that you have touched on and ask you, what is drug use in mexico like? is there a problem with internal drug use and mexico? >> i don't see anyone else grabbing for the microphone, congressman, so i will take a crack at that. may i offer one lesson of history, and that is, there is no such thing as a country that serves solely as a transit
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country in the drug-trafficking pipeline. and the reason is very, very simple. pave their network and products. they cannot pay 50,000 to it that corrupted official. they provide a hefty load of carol -- carolyn or cocaine, and that product must be marketed locally and in that way at transit nation becomes a consumer nation mexico is, in fact, confronting its own drug problem and crisis. it involves methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin. a big part of our program under the merida initiative with the government of mexico is draw demand reduction in terms of supporting it and education program in schools and among youth, treatment and
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rehabilitation centers, particularly in cities that are vulnerable to social unrest. >> let me ask you this, do they, in prison -- to the imprisoned drug users in mexico? >> i will have to red double check in terms of the specific state of federal mexican law. there are, of course, 32 states and mexico, as in the united states, and each state has its allen legal code. what i do not know at this point is whether mere possession or consumption is a criminal offense. >> let us know, our drug war has been a total failure in the united states. we have massive drug use after how many years? and that drug use in the united states is one of the things that has had a negative impact on our neighbor, on our good neighbors,
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like. and i think that there is tendency among too many americans to blame mexico for our problem of consumption, when actually it is the other way around. and i was talking with former president fox in mexico, and he is suggesting that, perhaps, we should try a revolutionary approach, which is bringing down the price of trucks by legalizing it and by treating those people who use drugs as people who need our help rather than people that need to be imprisoned. >> i agree with you, congressman. drugs in the united states and everywhere else in the world is a public health issue. it is not just a criminal justice -- >> let me just say this, the best thing that we could do for
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mexico would be to lower the price of drugs so the cartels that would not have some margin come to create a power dynamic in mexico that is native to that country, is that correct? >> i would want to be very careful not to support a policy or strategy whose effect would be to increase the number of users and consumers of dangerous product. >> i agree. >> i understand what you are saying. my only response is, the devil is in the details. we have to make sure that, as we proceed, we are not producing a worse outcome. >> with a note on naphtali understand that argument, but i would just suggest the -- i have not seen a lot of evidence that indicates that legalization of drugs and treating it as a personal problem that some have rather than a criminal problem, i have not seen where that would
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increase the use of drugs in our society or in mexico. i have come to the conclusion that people can get ahold of drugs in our society no matter what. there is nothing stopping them, and that legalizing it would not mean more people would be using it. it is just that there would be -- that drug cartels would be cut totally out of the equation and thus help mexico with that. thank you very much. >> we go now to mr. gregory meeks from new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank all three of our diplomats sitting at the table who, for your great representation of our country and your deep concern and commitment to the western hemisphere, you truly are examples of fine diplomats that make the united states and show the united states in a very, very important capacity. let me start with assistant
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secretary roberta jacobson, and surely we have had a long relationship with mexico. we started with nafta. we moved on. now individuals are talking about how they are tied in with tpp. the economics of the relationship with the united states and mexico. i am sure you have seen this relationship evolves, and i was wondering if you would give us some indication on how you have seen it evolving and how you would characterize it now. >> thank you, congressman. you know, i think one of the things that is so remarkable is, if you look at the growth in 20 years, the growth in the economic relationship over 20 years, it is a lot of statistics , and we did hear -- i think it was and -- certainly in german royce and chairman matt salmon remarks the number of jobs that this tripling and quadrupling in trade has generated in the united states. the other thing that we have seen in the growth of trade
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since nafta, since the growth in our economy connection and connectivity, as we called it in the north american leaders' summit, is the growth in manufacturing industries that are now fully integrated. if you look at the one that is always used his automobile production work cars are really not american cars but north american cars produced in canada and the united states and mexico. that is true in other industries as well, the aircraft industries and increasingly true in many manufacturing sectors. so i think there are a lot of ways in which we have seen that north america, with all of its resources, whether natural or human can be a platform for enormous economic competitiveness and that working together is the way that we can get there. it is one of the reasons we spent so much of our time and this administration focusing on three areas, i think, that
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aren't linked to the importance of that economic competitiveness , education especially for the u.s. and mexico, energy, which is crucial to that economic competitiveness, and then the vice president's lead in the high-level economic dialogue. >> speaking of that, i know that upon his inauguration the president announced unprecedented reform agenda that he has largely been able to keep intact and, you know, how will the recently approved fiscal labor education energy reform impact the united states-mexico economic relationship? how do you think these reforms affect u.s. investment in mexico? >> one of the things that i think is so critical is, these are reforms that have been urged by economists for 20 years. they are very much the structural reforms that many people said were critically
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necessary for mexico's economy to prosper along with the free-trade agreement. economists have always told us that free trade agreements alone don't bring about economic prosperity. it required structural changes in an economy like mexico's, and so these reforms, in many ways, some form of changes were needed, i think, to make mexico more competitive, to improve its economy. so they've really do both very well for the mexican economy, but they also bode well in terms of their openness for investment and for greater trade, even greater than we have seen the last 20 years. you also see mexico as part of canine and as part of the pacific alliance, the nations of latin america, gillette, peru, colombia, mexico might integrating and working to
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promote greater openness and their economies, really trying to encourage greater investment from overseas, from all over the world whether the united states or elsewhere. so i think the opportunities are really much expanded even that may have been in the last few years. >> thank you. let me go to ambassador brownfield. i know when you were the ambassador in colombia you were involved. can you tell us quickly, what has colombia's role in and providing security forces? and what areas would it be helpful for the colombian government for the train or assist mexican security forces? >> thanks, congressman. as you know, because among other reasons, you and i have actually talked about it. the colombian government has, in fact, provided support and training, exporters some of its police and law enforcement of broadly throughout the region, most heavily in central america,
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to a lesser extent in the caribbean. in mexico there has been a great deal of communication and dialogue between them. the colombian government has provided a great deal of aviation training in terms of helicopter pilot training and maintenance and support mechanics' training, if you will, for the aviation component of mexican law enforcement. that said, the amount of direct training engagement between mexico and colombia is less than you find between colombia and other parts of central america and the caribbean. >> michael mccaul of texas. >> thank you, chairman. i want to think the witnesses for being here today, particularly ambassador roberta jacobson. you are truly a fine public servant and i appreciate your hard work with respect to mexico and the western hemisphere. as you know, i cheer the u.s.-
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mexico i pg, and i must say in mexico city last -- six months ago we had a very productive meeting with the mexican congress. particularly on reform. i have to say, i have been very optimistic about this new administration with respect to the direction they're taking on energy, and what was amazing to me was that all three parties agreed upon the prd. and this place it is hard to agree on anything, but to have all three parties come together saying this is to be done, i think, is really remarkable. i think mexico has a unique opportunity to open up its energy resources, both offshore and for shale and in working with the united states have a true reliance on energy independence. i just returned from the middle east, saudi arabia called you a
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eat, we have a great dependence on energy with the middle east. i think this is a great way for the united states and mexico to work together on energy independence. my question to the secretary would be, and my understanding is the constitutional amendment has passed on these reforms but that it is still awaited, i guess ratification, for lack of a better word, by the mexican congress, which would take place possibly in the june time frame. can you give us an update on that? >> as far as i understand, congressman, ratification of the constitutional changes has taken place, but now the implementing or secondary legislation has to be passed. and it is possible that will be done in the june timeframe. >> do we feel optimistic that that will be done? >> i think we are encouraged. certainly there have been lots of discussion and debates, and there is likely to be some opposition, as is always the case, but it seems that there is a great deal of support. >> and i understand also the
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agreement -- when i talk to energy companies in the united states, for them it is very important to have production sharing as opposed to profit sharing. that would be the key to a good marriage, i here, on this issue. is it your understanding that they would lean more toward the production sharing? >> congressman from i would have to check and see exactly where the legislation stands right now. i think that may be the case, but i don't want to miss a beat. i will check that to be sure. >> we have been very careful not to meddle in their affairs at this point in time. i think it is good for us to sit back and watch what happens. >> good for mexicans to make this mexican decision. >> precisely. lastly, i also want to applaud the new administration. there was some skepticism as to whether there were intent on going after drug cartel organizations. not too long into the new administration we had the head
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of los zetas taken down and recently chapo guzman. a historic achievement. i talked to the ambassador more about this captured on the issue of extradition. he told me that he was open to the idea, but that a request had not been made by the administration. can you give me -- i know the department of justice is involved, but can you give me an update on the status of any extradition request? >> , oh, she turned that one over to me, congressman. >> lucky you. >> for which i am, of course, eternal grateful. members of the committee, i think this is known to everyone on this committee and i presume to every citizen of the united states and of mexico, there are, in fact, indictments against mr.
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mr. chapo guzman in u.s. -- in the united states of america for federal charges related to drug trafficking offenses. there are also obviously charges and indictments pending against him and the mexican legal system. i believe what ambassador maura has said to you is quite consistent with what he has said to us. we have two legal systems which have expressed interest in taking jurisdiction over this particular matter. it will eventually be determined by the mexican judicial system in terms of whether they will try him there for support an eventual extradition of and to the united states and at the end of the day that decision will play out in its own time. >> okay. i thank you for that answer. i see my time has expired. >> mr. albio sires.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. tomorrow secretary kerry is going to mexico. i am happy to see that that is not just the middle east that we have a whole other part of the world we need to focus on. do we expect -- what can we expect from this trip? will there be any announcements? anything that you can give us the heads up on before the trip? >> sure. i don't want to break too much news ahead of his trip, but i think it is not a secret that he is going to focus -- the trip is relatively brief, but it will focus on three areas that i think our among those i have talked about today. he will meet with his counterpart, the foreign secretary, as well as the education secretary. they will have someone from the national science foundation there to talk about our bilateral forum on education,
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innovation, and research. so this will be a kind of continuation and launching of our action plan on bilateral education. this has been a real key part of our relationship, the desire to do more in higher education, to do more in research efforts together. that is why the national science foundation is involved. he is also going to attend an event in which they are going to talk about clean energy and clean technology. a lot of this will focus on the economic and education agenda, but obviously he will also be talking with his counterpart and with the president about problems in the world that we can work on together and in the region. >> a great discussion on the security of the southern border with guatemala. that is becoming a dangerous point. what else can we do to assist mexico in this part of the
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mexican border? >> i am going to turn that over to ambassador brownfield in a moment, but i certainly expect them will be part of the conversation. one of the things that we have decided as an interagency group is also that the white house and the deputy homeland security adviser will be talking -- continuing his conversations with the mexicans on the citizens' security issue. ambassador brownfield has supported those efforts, including discussions on the southern border of mexico. >> very briefly, congressman paul we have already -- there is already up bilateral agreement. this is an important project for both governments, the united states and the mexican government. it is already an area where we have agreed on several specific projects that total nearly $11 million in terms of assistance and equipment that
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would support the ability of the mexican government to link together their trucks, customs, border, and police personnel on their border with guatemala and belize. we want to do it carefully because of like the u.s.-mexico border where we obviously have a right to speak and to speak publicly about our interest, the border between mexico and guatemala obviously is not something on which we have an automatic right to an opinion. we realize, however, first of the southern border of mexico is about one-tenth the length of their northern border and therefore is a much easier challenge to manage. second, the overwhelming majority of the bad stuff that starts in south america and eventually enters the united states crosses that southern border before it crosses the border with the united states. high priority.
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we are in agreement, and committed to work with them on a >> what amount, belize is also a transit point for drugs coming into this country. >> you are exactly right, and i was beginning insured and, for which i should apologize. you're absolutely correct, and in some ways even more dangerous because the lease, being a far less populous country, does not necessarily have the resources to throw up the border issues as those laudable. >> thank you very much, chairman. >> thank you. we now go to matt salmon of arizona. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will direct my first question for secretary jacobson. as we look to it find ways to improve management of our secure border and a short wait times at the secure points of entry, and pleases of the agreements we have reached with the government
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of mexico to improve border efficiency, particularly given the loss of billions of dollars in economic opportunity that occurs each year due to wait times at the border. what i am going to discuss is the expansion of pre clearance zones on each side of our borders to all starting with a few pilot programs. assistant secretary roberta jacobson, can you give us a sense of how these discussions and the pilots are progressing, particularly given the topic of our cbp agents carrying their weapons with them the pre clarence on? also, hand-in-hand with the commercial side of the order management is border security. our diplomats in mexico city have made tremendous progress in reaching agreement to improve our partnership in these efforts, in particular the mayor patrols between u.s. border patrol and mexican police among the busiest smuggling corridors. however, it is my understanding that there have been only around 150 mexican officers deployed, not nearly enough. has there been any progress in getting the mexican government
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to commit more resources to this effort? >> thank you very much, mr. mr. chairman. on the pre clarence issue, i know that we have really been in pretty intense conversations with mexican counterparts. both sides really want to reach toward an agreement, and i believe that some progress is being made. let me get the specifics of where we are and try and get back to you. i know how important this is, not only to you and your state because that is where we would try and do our pilots but really to the border as a whole and to the country. we want to try and figure out whether this model can work. it would be so productive, make things so much easier, and hopefully be able to be expanded this is something we have been working on command we would like to try and break the logjam. let me try and give you more detail on where we are. it is something we will continue to try and work toward. on the issue of the border violence and the efforts to reduce border violence and to work on both sides of the
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border, clearly we work best of that issue when we are working on both sides, when we are communicating across the border. the conversations we have had without mexican counterpart since we restarted our dialogue with the new government, if you will, last fall, i think, have really improved our communication and have made it easier to cooperate across the border. we continue to work with them to try and get more mexican officials on the other side, especially to move to hot spots as we get information and intelligence on where danger may be, and we will continue have those conversations. >> thank you. ambassador brownfield, want to congratulate you and our colleagues and our embassy and consulates and mexico for what you have achieved at strengthening the security partnership with mexico through the merida initiative. despite some setbacks in the reorganization following the
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election, progress is being made however, there remains a substantial pipeline, as you know. so i would like to know from you where the sticking points are and if we can expect to see more steady progress. and i would like to get a sense from you about whether the government of mexico has prioritized or will prioritize its security efforts. the violence is happening right along the u.s. border near brownsville and mcallen taxes, and i no there have been several opportunities for us to ask questions of our counterparts in mexico. i think that while they want to and improve the security, the kind of throw up their hands on some of these areas. i just don't think that we can do that. >> thank you, congressman. first, on the pipeline issue. the pipeline, ladies and gentlemen, is will we in the
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program management business call those funds which have not been either obligated or sub obligated and expanded sped down and you are correct, congressman , as always, the pipeline from mexico, at least in terms of those bonds for which i am responsible, the eliot engel bonds, have reached nearly $900 million. the reason for it is simply stated, one, the 2013 money and the 2014 money has not yet been obligated due to the speed with which things move through. when that is completed about $350 million will then be obligated. second, as i mentioned, in my presentation there was a time when new programs were not being launched. we have moved beyond that. i repeat, we have reached
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agreement on $438 million worth of 78 new programs. i would expect that to bring this pipeline down by more than 50% in and of itself. finally, we do have a few holes that constitute about $100 million. no one on this side of the capitol is responsible, but that is money that cannot be spent until the reasons for the whole the ban lifted. i am optimistic. the signal of want to send to you, congressman, is, i am optimistic that pipeline delays is not born to be a longstanding issue. >> thank you, chairman. thank you, ambassador. we go now to mr. vargas of california. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you to the witnesses. there are three issues i would like to talk about. ..
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and it's understandable, mexico wants toughs through make sure you don't import guns, and we want that too. this poor marine inned inadverty crossednot a gun trafficker, gentleman who served honorably, and unfortunately didn't see the last turn. he crossed into mexico, told the truth. i yield back. >> now randy webster of texas. >> you gave a whole list of different law enforcement
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agencies, and i must have step out. what was the list in response to? >> the chairman noted the attorney general of california was providing some support for prosecutorial training in california, and mr. weber, what i did, i took advantage of the opportunity to note there was a large list of state and local law enforcement and judicial -- >> thank you, thank you, i appreciate that. miss jacobson, you said our bored with mexico is nor secure an ever. what matrix, what data are you using to come to that conclusion? >> congressman, i think that basically the data i would use to point to that is that there are fewer people coming in through the -- we have net migration from mexico of zero. we have a period -- more resources and more people, more
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high-tech equipment. resources provided by congress to keep the border secure. >> do you have a breakdown by state what the resources are? >> i could get additional information. >> did you have input from the various state agencies responsible along the four states' borders. >> we certainly worked with many of the agencies in the state, as does dhs. >> i was vyings chairman of the borders committee in texas, and i would tell you when i was there, before i came to congress this term, that wasn't they're assessment the border was safer. i can tell you that from speaking to steve mccraw, the director of the dps, former fbi foreclose, and that was not their assessment. the current administration released some 36,000 convicted
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illegals? >> yes, sir. >> and you still think that we have a safe border. >> i think that we have made huge strides in security along the border, yes, sir. >> okay. i would like to get the data you used to come to that conclusion. so you have not -- that was really my question, ambassador, texas dps or texas agencies were not on the list -- i decide i did not hear you read the texas attorney general. did i miss that? >> i'll jump ahead of you, mr. weber. i'm pleased to report two months ago i had the pleasure and honor to be in austin and did spent four hours in the company of the director of the department of public safety. mr. mccraw. we did signed an m.o.u. as of two and a half mock -- months ago whereby texas dps will be a
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partner, they will be on the lost as we work into programs and projected -- projects that are specifically related to their area of expertise. >> let me break in. when i was border committee vice chair, my only two terms -- we put in joaquin was there with us -- we put $200 million in equipment and boots on the ground, five helicopters, surveillance airplanes, high-speed boat, a lot of high-tech stuff along the border, the texas-mexican border, and my question was going to be, we've spent a lot of money to secure the border in guatemala, but are we spending the same amount on the northern border? the fer government has not been kicking kicking
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kicking in a commence rat amount on the texas-mexican border. ambassador, what say you? >> first i get to hide, congressman, and say we are the international side, so by definition we're working south of the border. second, i will say i had the same conversation with mr. mccraw you had, and i agree that is his view. when i said to him my perspective is that the situation on the border is in fact getting better, he said that is not the reality we are dealing with -- >> let me break in for the record. i want this on the record. he told me that 70 sects, eastern religious sects, are coming across our southern border. now, that ought to scare what we call in southeast texas the bee jabbers out of people. 70 religious sects, eastern sects from the middle east. i would say for the record that we need to be sure we focus on securing the border and i yield
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back. >> mr. joseph kennedy of massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for calling such an important hearing to the witnesses. thank you for your testimony today. thank you for your patience and most importantly thank you for your service. extraordinarily important and you have distinguished yours over many years of service. so thank you for that. i'm going to strike a theme that many of my colleagues have talked about a bit with you, mr. ambassador. you talked in your testimony already and in many of the questions that have been asked about the recent developments regarding economic and energy reforms taking place in mexico, and the recent capture of "el chapo" as an example of how the united states and mexico can cooperate and make both countries safe and targeting drug traffickers. drug trafficking is of interest to me as a former prosecutor and across massachusetts, heroin overdoses are on the rise. and my district specifically, bristow county, has been on the
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front lines of this painful epidemic. at the end of last month the police department confirmed there's been over 140 heroin overdoses in the city in 2014 alone. equally concerning is substance abuse and mental health organization shows 12.3% of massachusetts use between the age of 12 and 17. compare that to the national average of 9.8%. i spoke with local leaders, healthcare providers, law enforcement officials from totn, who stress two things. first, the preference of precision drug abuse. four out of five heroin users started with prescription opiates. and number two, the rash of -- you talk about this -- incredibly cheap hair heroin flooding the streets, make it more tempting for a kid addicted
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to oxycontin, to are two dollar a bag of heroin. and the department of state says mexico accounts for 7% of the world's heroin reply, most of which smuggled into the u.s. most of the drug you find on the streets has origins in mexico, and new york city is described as a hub of heroin for distribution across the northeast, most coming from mexico. mr. brownfield you talk a bit about this already. if you can give us some detail as to what advice you would give me or give this committee as to what we can do about this on top of your efforts that you're already undertaking, i'd be grateful. >> congressman, i'll start with something that -- i don't know how often you hear it but i'll say it.
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i agree with absolutely everything you have just said. there's not one point of disagreement what you just described that i would point to. >> i don't get nat often enough. thank you. >> i would say the following -- i know we're not supposed to create headlines here, but i do believe the united states of america is confronting a nationwide heroin crisis. i have seen the statement statistics you have. over the last four years, the number of addicts and abusers of marijuana in the u.s. has jumped from 75 and 80%. the amount of estimated pure heroin entering the united states has increased by nearly 100%. that heroin is now found in neighborhoods, cities, regions of the country, where it never was seen before, and we are also
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suggest set up to address a different source of drug problem. we've gotten pretty good at interrupting the flow of cocaine and methamphetamine that start in south america, process and transit through central america and mexico or the caribbean, and enter the united states of america. heroin is a different problem set. we have to get our head around that problem set, and we will have to address it or we will pay very long-term consequences. mexico is very much part of this issue. you have cited the statistics. the statistic i have read is roughly 26 metric tons of pure around around is produced in mexico in a given year. that may sound like a lot but we estimate 600 to 650 is produced in afghanistan, but nevertheless, if the u.s. market is between 15 and 40 tons per year, 26 tons actually goes
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pretty far towards satisfying the entire market. and we are going to have to adjust our tactics, policy, dialogue, and diplomacy, in order to address heroin as well as cocaine and methamphetamine. that's the answer i give you. >> i'm over time but if you might be able to respond some writing with suggestions how to do that i would be grateful. thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. kennedy. now to -- >> thank you all for being here, appreciate it. very important hearing to have, and a relationship that i think sometimes both countries take for granted. i appreciate the attention being brought to us today. i just want to add to the heroin issue, the talk on that, there's a youth recovery center in my district, and i went there, and the person who was taking me around and introducing me to teenagers, said, ask these kids what their derrick is, and when i was in high school the drug
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issue was marijuana. so i asked the kids-what are you addicted to, and half of the kids were heroin. it shocked me. it actually caught me way off guard. i new it was a rising endem tick but i didn't realize 15 and 16-year-olds were getting into heroin and it's cheaper than marijuana. let me ask ms. jacobson, mexico is projected to grow at 3%. actually had a 1.1% growth. economists predict better growth this year. given the fact our economies are so inconnected and the reforms going on in mexico how much will those impact economic growth in mexico therefore our growth, and if you can keep it fairly short i have a couple 0 issues. >> i don't have a kris school ball. i wish i did. >> you don't? >> but i do think that there
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reforms open up possibilities for greater economic growth. the real question is how quickly. the implementing legislation gets put into place now, the expectations are very high but it's not clear to me that the results of that in terms of improved economic performance and growing are going to be immediate. so i don't know how quickly -- >> maybe the hope is today we gate boost from people feeling better about it. >> you get and increased expectations and positive feelings if think you probably get some increased investment and then you begin to get real changes. >> thank you. ambassador brownfield, i'm an air national guard pilot and one mission i have flown is on the border of mexico as part of border operations, i guess we'll call it. where it was customs and border patrol, i've seen firsthand the that that a porous border creates, and i'm not talking about people. i'm talking about drug trade and
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everything on that levelful. and i think that issue creates damage and mistrust between the two countries to an extent, and i think a secure border could mean different things to different people. as we talk about everybody says they want a secure border. i want to ask you a question specifically, talk about the idea that 21st century border and the four pillars. you have talked about in this initiative. can you describe what you envision? what is a secure border under this, and especially when it comes to elicit drug trade. >> i would remind you, as i start, congressman, what we're doing for the initiative is the southern side of the border. that is our focus. state, local, and federal law enforcement obviously manages the northern side, the u.s. side of the border. first and foremost, our focus is on equipment. modern 21st century border is a border that in fact has the sort of inspection equipment
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that allows authorities to verify what is coming through or to the border in a way that does not create 50-mile backlogs and two week delays in order to cross the border. i mentioned over the last four years, we have provided $112 million worth of nonintrusive inspection equipment, and we believe that has been responsible for 3.8 bill worth of seizures. >> some of the stuff being repatriated from iraq and afghanistan that we're bringing back, isr platforms -- >> not yet. however, you have put your finger, congressman, on an issue that has increasingly become matter of internal discussion within the executive branch and that is, simply put, are there resources or assets that are in fact going to be drawn down and removed from one region that could be put to this mission, not just incidentally along the u.s., mexico border but in other parts of this hemisphere as
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well? we're actively assessing it. as you can imagine my position is i would like to play as much of -- apply as much of that as possible to this mission. >> as an isr pilot and operating overseas and the war and also operating domestically in those kinds of areas, it's very important to help our situational awareness mitchell my time it up. i want to make a quick statement in terms of the importance of our natural gas resources. i know mexico needs the natural gas we have so i'd like to put a plug in to say that we're in a good position to really help our neighbors in terms of that. so, with that, thank you all for your generous time in being here. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you; we now go to joaquin castro from texas. >> thank you, chairman, and thank each of you for your testimony. my grandmother is from mexico, from a small town, san pedro, and my wife's family is from
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mexico, and i san antonio has been very instrumental in the u.s., mexico relationship, a place where nafta was signed, home to the nad bank so there's a lot of trade between the state of texas and mexico. texas has the longest border with mexico at 1200 miles, and so in reviewing some of these documents you provided, i was struck by the incredible drop in aid from 265 million dozen $140 million from year to year, and i know you provided some explanation for that, but how would you answer the charge that the u.s. is backing away on its commitment to mexico and how does that number compare with any aid to other countries in latin america? has there been a drop in aid to latin america? >> congressman, first of all, on the mexican relationship, having been present at the birth, if you well, of the meriden, it
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started very large, and we did know that it was going to ease off because of the equipment that was, as we said, very explicitly, front-loaded. because equipment takes a long time, helicopters in particular. you have to order it and decide which kind. but we also, in conversation with the mexico can government at the time -- their feeling was clearly they did not believe they were going to need assistance from the u.s. government for a very long time. that they were a country that had very good resources and they needed our expertise more than they needed huge amounts of resources for equipment. the government of the president believes they still need our expertise and our training, but that we the reduced amounts will be sufficient for what they require of us. so we do believe that these reduced amounts -- we hope they
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will not trail off precipitously from here, but that -- >> that is a huge drop. >> it is a very large drop. but we have also gotten past the biggest equipment purchases as ambassador brownfield -- but in latin america, i certainly would not deny that there has been a very large drop. >> the rope i ask is because i know there's a competition for dollars around here and there has been over the years a dropping commitment, i believe to foreign aid, and to the united states' involvement and engauge independent the world which i don't think is good for our country. so i guess what i'm trying to get at is are we robbing peter to pay paul? >> there's huge amount of pressures on the budget. that certainly can't be denied. >> i wouldn't necessarily blame the administration for having to do that. i just wanted to be clear about what's going on. >> during this period when there's been so much pressure on the budget, we also have seen a period in time where growth
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rates in latin america have been very, very strong, especially in some regions. in some of those praises we felt it was perfectly appropriate to reduce aid because it just wasn't as necessary as in the past, or because they -- we didn't feel that we needed the same amounts in the same areas as before. it is not to say there are not still needs. but is its i it an area that the u.s. can do something that ngos or international organizations cannot fill? we feel we're doing what we should be doing in the region, but it has been large reduction -- >> i think unfortunately that has been the relationship with latin america over the years, where latin america is put on the back burner and is one of the first regions to get cut. and i don't think that's in the best interests of the united states. but i have a second question. the congress right now is debating the transpacific partnership, and in debating the tpa, we're looking back to nafta
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and for many democrats in particular, they wonder what the environmental and labor standards -- what has happened to those in mexico -- the united states also -- but in the countries at stake. what has nafta done in terms of labor and the environment in mexico since its passam 20 years ago. >> one of the important things about tpp is that it brings some of the countries involved in our early free trade agreements where things like labor and environment were, as you recall, five letters, not part of the free trade agreement. it more recent free trade agreements have had labor and environment as part of the free trade agreement, and what tpp would do is look at the higher standard for labor and environment, which i think is critically important. >> i know i'm out of time. i'll follow up with y'all. >> thank you so much,
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mr. castro. thank you to our witnesses for being here, the chair recognizes he was. while i recognize the importance of the improvements we have made jointly in the judicial sector, i believe it's only prudent for the u.s. to continue to seek and push extradition of high-value criminals who would -- could provide us insight into the drug trade in our region. three months ago with our assistance, the mexican government an -- apprehended, chapel guzman, one of the world0s most notorious drug traffickers. many members brought up the issue of extraditing him. we have to continue pressure on mexico so we don't have more of these cases, and thank you to everybody who has brought it up. please keep that as one of our priorities. and i'm also concerned about the human rights situation in cube, not just in mexico. not just for mexican nationals but for u.s. citizens.
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in 2012 i led the effort for another marine veteran, john hammer, who also, like this sad case, ended up in a mexican jail for far too long. the family was at first quiet, and then became vocal. because they were not getting much success, today, as congressman vargas pointed out there's a new case in mexico of andrew -- marine veteran from south florida. i was pleased to join in a letter to the embassy in mexico asking that this hero be helped out in his sad situation. i'd like to put that for the record, and also i joined a letter with debbie wasser wasserman-schultz, the mom of andrew, lives in her district,
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so we joined debbie on this letter, the 25-year-old marine corps veteran from wisconsinin, florida, and we're very worried about this case, and it took a lot of pressure and a lot of u.s. help to get these cases resolved, and i hope that in the same way you helped the john hammer, that you help out with andrew's case, and i'll put those in the record. so i would like for you to comment on that and secondly, secretary jacobson, thank you for rectifying for the record a statement that had been made in the senate committee about a different case, this one on the venezuela sanctions bill. i did not want to let the opportunity that you're before me always to speak about other areas of interest of mine, including my native homeland of cuba, in this case, venezuela,
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that you had inartfully said the opposition is the venezuelan opposition was against the sanctions bill. thank you for clarifying that, that is not the case. whether they are or aren't, it's the right thing for the united states to sanction human rights violators that have killed so many in venezuela, lopez is third month in jail, opposition leader, machado, stripped of her legislative seat. we hope we can move that bill quickly in the house, and i know senator menendez and senator rubio are working on that as well, so i did not want to take too much time on that because i know it's about mexico but today's cuban independence day and we wish that cuba were truly independent. i'd like for that to be truly the case. and so if you could comment, secretary jacobson, on andrew's
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case, on venezuela. and cuban independence day. >> thank you madam chair. on andrew tahmooressi's case, we will continue to do everything that we can for him. certainly everything that we can to get him home to his family to get him out of detention. i guess all i can say in this case is i hope that we will continue to work together on this one as actively each of us in our own way, because when these things happen all we want is to get these folks home as quickly as we can. so thank you for your efforts and we'll continue to do what we can along with ours consulate in tijuana and our embassy in mexico city. these are important cases and i appreciate congressman bringing this up and we'll continue to do everything we can. and just to say thank you f

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